Reach for the Sky
Next January Good Sam members can join tens of thousands of spectators watching hot-air balloons soar high above London Bridge at Arizona’s Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair, North America’s largest January balloon event. Beyond experiencing the thrill of more than 60 thermal-powered aircraft aloft above Lake Havasu, members will get a lift knowing their attendance fees support dozens of deserving charities.
One of the biggest events in the region, the Havasu Balloon Festival was launched by the Lake Havasu City London Bridge Lions Club and the London Bridge Rotary Club as a way to fund local charitable groups. Four years later, that’s still the mission, with the January 17–19, 2014, festival operated by volunteers and proceeds going to fund groups from Meals on Wheels to Big Brother/Big Sister.
Like Albuquerque’s renowned Balloon Fiesta, the Havasu Balloon Festival turns the Southwestern sky into an airborne parade with the world’s oldest flight technology dressed up in fanciful colors and contemporary shapes. Dramatic morning launches, optional balloon rides and magical evening balloon glows give spectators an up-close look at these inflatable crafts that ride on the wind.
Beyond the festival’s sky-high pageantry, down-to-earth activities include a carnival, a car show, a food court, hundreds of vendor booths, live musical entertainment and much more. Festival-goers can take advantage of Lake Havasu City’s other amusements, from Segway rides to jet-boat trips to tours of the legendary London Bridge, transported stone by stone from England’s capital city. All types of watercraft are available for rental on the lake itself, from kayaks to Jet Skis to pontoon boats.
The sponsoring Rotary and Lions Clubs are committed to community service, making the festival a natural fit for the civic-minded Good Sam Club. Good Sam members not only receive special group parking and discounted rates, they also get the satisfaction of knowing a good portion of their fees goes to worthy causes. Members wishing to take the Good Samaritan spirit to the next level can join the festival’s nearly 1,000 volunteers.
Good Sam members can register in advance to park on dry RV campsites adjacent to the festival for $20 per night, a $2 savings. Honey-wagon and RV water service are both available, and free shuttles transport members to and from the festival grounds. A single $10 admission pass provides access to all three days of the event.
For more information about camping in the discounted Good Sam Club area at the 2014 Havasu Balloon Festival or to volunteer, contact JoAnn Yett at 951-316-6004 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information about the festival, visit havasuballoonfest.com.